Yesterday we did our big demo at the Brisbane Powerhouse. It was by far the best demo I’ve ever done (in terms of fun mainly but also satisfaction in my riding).
We were performing indoors on a big platform and spectators were located on three sides of us and up to two levels above us looking down…and there were lots of them. There were 4 demo riders including myself.
The course consisted of stacks of palets, a 2" rail, oil drums, truck tyres, and some other bits and pieces. We did hopping around and over a crowd member on the platform in the middle which is always a crowd pleaser. Throughout the course, the tech people placed 8 cameras which were hooked up to a BIG screen above the course. There was also a tiny helmet cam the someone wore. This really was a big event! Hopefully I’ll be able to track down the footage from the cameras at some stage.
During the day before the demo I managed a rolling hop up to the drum (on it’s side) with a short run-up which was good fun and very satisfying but unfortunately ran out of time to do it in the demo. I’ve just started on rolling hops up to things and I can see it becoming very useful. I also tried those seat drop things for the first time where you drop the seat in front until it catches on your foot and do a little stillstand. I managed one of them (although it was a pretty wussy one) during the demo. I’m going to work on them now because they’re lots of fun when you pull off long ones.
During the demo I did the usual gapping, dropping, etc. Then right at the end as the final segment of the demo (no pressure or anything :)) I attempted to hop across the ladder and over to the stack of 8 palets. I’d spent about half an hour just staring at this line thinking how much I really really wanted to try it but I knew I probably wouldn’t make it. Just before the end of the demo I finally decided that although I would quite probably hurt myself I was going to try the ladder…
I got up on the platform which was about 2 palets or so below the level of the 8-stack. The ladder was about 3’ wide and the rungs were definately too widely spaced to hop between them. Since I hop at about 15 degrees from perpendicular to the rungs if I missed one the unicycle would slip straight through…this scared me…a lot. The crowd started a slow clap and I went for my first attempt. I didn’t even make it off the platform! So I tried again and this time made it two rungs out before slipping and luckily landing on the ladder safely. I thought to myself how disappointing this would be if I didn’t make it any further since this was the last part of the demo. I really didn’t think I could make it any further under these circumstances. But I couldn’t stop there, so I signalled that I’d try one more time. The announcer got the crowd really fired up and everyone was shouting from all around and above me. This did actually really help me. The reason I didn’t make it on the previous attempts is because I was concentrating on how I could hurt myself rather than landing cleanly and I wasn’t fully committing to it. When the crowd really got behind me I was slightly more confident. So I went for my final attempt. When I hit the 3rd rung cleanly I was surprised that I was still on the unicycle. I didn’t waste any time, and continued along the final few rungs and over to the palets…I made it! I was so stoked and relieved that I didn’t disappoint everyone.
So I had a really great time at the demo. This was followed by the speed trials competition which I filmed but didn’t compete in. I could have done everything except the the final gap which was just too technical and far. It was great to watch though. I really tink we should do this on unicycles at Unicons. It’s a fantastic event. Basically there are two identical courses mirrored side by side and the riders race to finsh them. It’s really really entertaining to watch.
Next up is the first round of the national trials competitions next sunday…I can’t wait. After that there are more comps and a big demo that Alex Toms (tomsey on the forums), Luke Hilderbraat, Dan Cowling, and I are doing at the Australian Bike Show. It’s all happening for me at the moment with trials.
Oh yeah, one more thing…for riding around on a brilliant trials course and having an absolutely amazing time I got paid $50!.
Here’s a little clip of the ladder hopping - http://gallery.unicyclist.com/albums/albup16/8_Palet_Ladder.wmv